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Kansas Police Officers Still Face Freed Man’s Claims

DENVER (CN) - The 10th Circuit denied qualified immunity to Kansas police officers on most of the claims filed by a man who served 10 years in prison for a rape he did not commit.

In 1982 Eddie James Lowery was convicted of breaking into a woman's home in Ogden, Kan., and raping her. After a lengthy interrogation, Lowery broke down and confessed to some of the police's leading questions. He later claimed that he had lied in the hope that they would put him in jail, so that he could finally speak to a lawyer.

He was convicted of rape, aggravated battery and aggravated burglary.

After serving 10 years in prison and being listed as a registered sex offender for another 10 years, DNA evidence exonerated him.

Lowery and his daughter, Amanda, filed a civil-rights complaint against Riley County police officers and several municipalities that took part in his arrest, conviction and incarceration.

A three-judge panel dismissed for lack of jurisdiction defendants' challenge to the denial of qualified immunity on Lowery's claims of coercion, failure to investigate, fabrication of evidence and malicious prosecution. But the court reversed denial of immunity on his claim for loss of familial association, and ruled that his supervisory liability and conspiracy claims must survive summary judgment.

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